Deck Tech: B/R Land Destruction

Posted in Event Coverage on September 7, 2002

By Nate Heiss

At Grand Prix - Cleveland things looked very predictable - lots of Black, a large helping of Blue Green, and a spattering of others on the side. One man, however, refused to submit to the cycle of good cards that seemed to lock up the meta game - William "Huey" Jensen decided to run an unorthodox Black/Red deck based around Burning Wish, Mirari, and land destruction. He felt that the strong presence of Mono-Black let open a hole in the meta-game that made a mana denial deck to be plausible. After a week of hard testing, his work has clearly paid off. He's got a 7-1 record going into day 2.

At first glance the deck seems like an ordinary mana-denial deck - until you realize that it is actually a card advantage deck - generating mass quantities of card advantage with Mirari and Recoups. The Burning Wish base allows the deck to be flexible in tight situations...wishing for cards from of three different sources: 1) the Sideboard, 2) cards that were Tainted Pacted away, and 3) cards that have already been used a few times with Recoup.

Innocent Bloods and Edicts fend off the critters in the early game while coming back later on with the help of Recoup and Mirari to finish off any threats that get by the initial "cleansing". Magnivore is the most likely kill mechanism, but if it is killed or Tainted Pacted away, the deck can go into an infinite Burning Wish/Mirari loop that will eventually destroy every land in the opponents deck, followed up with an infinite Morbid Hunger loop with the same trick (using Mirari on the wishes in order to get a Wish and a card back).

Burning Wish
Perhaps the most interesting part of the deck is the plan against U/G - Sideboarding out much of the land kill in order to bring in Overmasters and a second Magnivore with some Mutilate backup. After this transformation, the deck plays much like mono-black but with the added bonus of having Catalyst Stones and Recoups to provide a seemingly never-ending supply of Edicts and Bloods. After most of the pressure has been removed, a huge Magnivore easily deals the final blows. This deck's hardest matchup by far is U/G Threshold, which is fast paced and drops many creatures that must be Edicted away - much of the matchup is determined by Mutilate, however it can be difficult to Mutilate for more than three in a two color deck.

The deck is a great metagame choice when mono-black is so prevalent, and this clearly makes a statement for the power of the Mirari/Bruning Wish engine on a whole. I expect to see at least a few more decks based around this combo - perhaps not in this block, but certainly when Extended season rolls around.

Black/Red Land Destruction

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